1:24 SCALE BOLSTER PAD ADAPTER
Manufacturer: Ryan Equipment Company, Inc., Railway Products Division, 749 Creel Drive, Wood Dale, IL 60191. Price: CPA-101 or CPA-102 Bolster Pad Adapter Set $28.50 suggested list; CPA-101-MW or CPA-102-MW same as CPA 101 and CPA-102 but with metal wheels $42.50.
IF YOU AGREE that Delton boxcars, stock cars, and reefers are excellent scale models in search of correctly proportioned trucks you'll love the latest from Ed Ryan. If you have been longing for a way to transform your LGB high side gondolas into more accurate approximations of their D&RGW prototypes, you'll crave his current contribution. If you're willing to spend a couple of hours with a screwdriver, a razor saw, some glue, paint, and possibly a file or drill, Ryan's offering lets you work wonders on your rolling stock.
Each bolster pad adapter set contains one pair each of Ryan's One Gauge or 1 1/2 inch Gauge trucks (with optional metal wheels), brake hardware, bolster pad casting, Kadee 820 couplers, and coupler pocket castings. The trucks and brake hardware are the black Delrin plastic D&RGW 3 foot 7 inch archbars and outside hung brake shoes we reviewed in the December 1991/January 1992 issue. The 820 couplers are the smaller (1:32 scale standard gauge/1:24 scale narrow gauge) versions of Kadee's state-of-the-art "G Scale" magnetic couplers. The bolster pad and coupler pocket are clean urethane castings. They are exactly the right size to fit into the underframe and over the coupler draft gear box respectively. Little or no filing should be necessary. The bolster pads convey the impression of detail with low-relief ridges to represent frame timbers. The coupler pocket castings are general approximations of actual Rio Grande castings. You will have to remove the existing coupler pocket castings from the car ends, a tedious job.
The rest of the car modification consists of unscrewing and discarding the original trucks, then unscrewing and removing the plastic frame timber/body bolster underframe casting and truss rods. (The frame timbers are the six long strips running from end to end under the car; the body bolster is the raised casting the trucks screw into.) Next, glue a bolster pad to each end of the underside of the car. At that point you may decide either to build a new underframe from wood or styrene and hardware castings and truss rods from various manufacturers or to reinstall the original underframe and truss rods. Should you choose to reinstall the originals, you would need a razor saw to remove the section at each end from the body bolster to the end of the car. You would also have to drill holes in each bolster pad casting for the truss rods. Then you would glue the underframe/truss rod assembly back in place. Paint the underside of the car, the trucks, the wheel faces, and the brake hardware, screw the trucks onto the body bolsters, glue a coupler pocket casting to the top of each coupler pocket, between the lip and the car body, and you're done.
The quality of all parts is quite good. Both the urethane bolster pad and coupler pocket castings are available separately. If you have been considering a way to add realism to your rolling stock, consider Ryan's bolster adapters. They maintain Ryan's tradition of accuracy and excellence.--RR